Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Julia's Guide to eBay Live 2008

Julia's Guide to eBay Live

from the Yard Salers newsletter, at


Hello, all!

In our last newsletter, I said I had been as busy as a one-armed paper
hanger, then mentioned as an aside that "I don't know what that is or
if anything like it even existed." Leave it to you, my wonderful
readers, to fill me in on the origins of that saying...reader Maureen
tells me the "You only have 1/2 of the saying...the end of it is: WITH
AN ITCH" (use your imagination as to why he has an itch. "If you can
picture a one armed man trying to hang wallpaper and'll see a pretty busy guy in a lot of trouble!!!"

Thanks for sharing, Maureen..I confess I never knew that!

OK, now that we've gotten that issue out of the way, I'll share
one of the things that's kept me unusually busy in the last couple

Memorial Day weekend here in the DC area boasted beautiful, sunny and
crisp weather. Saturday, I was just heading out to take my daughter to
her usual gymnastics class, when my son came running in from the
backyard, very upset, holding up his arm. It seems he'd been swinging
too hard on the swing, fallen off, and broken his wrist.

It turns out the poor little guy had broken his wrist in two
places...the ulna and the radius (not the humerus...I know, there's a
bad joke in there about how the whole situation was not humorous, etc.)

So we had a long day at the hospital ahead of us, and the
weekend didn't exactly unfold as I'd planned, but c'est la vie. He's
doing OK, in an over-the-elbow cast, and looking forward to the day in
a few weeks when he gets a short cast, and then a waterproof cast so he
can go in the water when we go to the beach in June.

Speaking of June, some of you had asked me to write a guide to
eBay about going there, how to get the most out of it, etc.
So in this issue, in the interest of expediency and getting it out
before the actual convention starts June 18, I bring you Julia's
handy-dandy guide to eBay Live.

And, for those of you not going, the good news is there will be
a lot of coverage of it, including, as I will write about, many of the
presentations available on YouTube, the next best thing. More on that
in the feature article.

Yard sales...I've had a few good finds in the past few weeks,
the best being a set of Adobe "CS2" software which is a combo of
Adobe's most popular graphics programs, including Illustrator,
Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat. One thing I learned about selling
Adobe software is, if you want to be able to pass the registration on
to the next person, as in, the person you're selling it to, ask the
person you're buying it from to transfer the license to you in writing,
so you can pass it on. Or, get their phone number, so they can call
Adobe and leave instructions.

A grand total of one of you wrote back to say you were
interested in seeing the photo of Richard Chamberlain in his fraternity
in the Pomona College yearbook I found. This, of course, means I plan
to run the photo. But not in this issue.

This issue is short, as I am sending it out from an airport and want to
get it out before my plane boards. But more in the next issue!

Let's get on to eBay Live without further ado.



1) eBay Live 2008: Julia's Handy-Dandy Guide


eBay Live: a three-day festival where sellers, eBay management, and
third party vendors and speakers come together to talk about all things
auction and ecommerce. (This year may be a little hairier than usual,
if the comments on the AuctionBytes blog are any person
suggested that eBay execs "wear their flak jackets"!)

But if you've never been, how do you know what to expect? And if you can't go, where to look for the news?

Here's a rundown:

The Big Events:

Every year, eBay puts on at least three major sessions that are
usually jammed full of attendees. These are events I advise you not to
miss because they're where a lot of the action takes place:

- The Keynote, Friday morning, June 20.

This is the big meeting that strikes the, well, keynote for the
rest of the event. Typically there's some kind of opening
entertainment, eBay execs run through the latest eBay, PayPal (and more
recently, Skype and Kijiji) stats, and some announcements are made.

A tradition at this event is for Meg to ask the audience to all
stand, and then sit down as she calls out feedback numbers. If you have
more than that number of feedbacks, you remain standing. At the end,
there are usually only a handful of people standing, and their feedback
numbers are higher than everyone else's; last year, they went up to
100,000 feedbacks and about six folks were still standing! Whew.

- Town Hall, Saturday, June 21. Here is where eBay execs,
usually moderated by Griff, and the seller population in general, get
to interact more closely than in other sessions, and there is usually a
long q&a. This year's event, given the many recent changes on eBay
unpopular sellers, should be veeerrrrry interesting. eBay also has an
"overflow" room set up to handle extra people if more people show up
than it can handle in the big room.

Speaking of which, if you want a decent, or at least close-in,
seat for these or any eBay session, but especially the major events,
you'd be wise to get there at least 10-15 minutes early.

- The Gala, usually Saturday night starting around 8 p.m. (I don't know
the exact day/time for it this year, though I hear the entertainment
will be Chris Isaak. ya s'pose the opening song will be "Wicked
Game," and will there be any double-entendre there?

Other Comments and Happenings:

The Exhibit Hall

This is the showcase of third party eBay developers, authors,
some publishers (including my ebay Top 100 Tricks" publisher, Wiley,
and various businesses catering to eBay sellers, set up shop and
exhibit their latest wares. It's an ongoing event throughout the three
days of the conference, so you can shuffle in and out as you have time
between sessions.

One of the big attractions here is somewhat random: eBay
employees come out like little blue-polo-shirted fairy godpeople every
15 minutes or so, when a theme song is played, bearing big handfuls of
free ebay collectible pins.

People then swarm the eBay people like lemmings, open hands
thrust forward, to grab their free booty. One year I went slightly
crazy with this and was trying to get a whole set of pins. In
subsequent years, I've felt it's not worth the effort of running
yourself ragged...if a pin guy shows up along the way, great; I'm not
going to plan my convention around it. Not tp mention, I'm usually too
busy blogging, writing, and attending sessions to do much of that.

Having said that, it is kinda nice to get some free booty. :)

eBay Live Sessions:

eBay employees, experts, and hired "big name" speakers put on a
panoply of smaller seminars and sessions throughout the three days, the
meat and bones of the conference.

I want to attend a lot of these sessions; in fact it can be
frustrating because you may want to attend more than one that's being
held at the same time. Sometimes you can track down the course material
on cd, or see if a blogger has covered it. I'm also finding that some
sessions are being videotaped and uploaded, at least in part, to
YouTube. I found this video of the "highlights" of Andy Sernovitz's
session (which I missed last year) the the 'Tube here:

Some of the key speakers this year are:

- the aforementioned Sernovitz.

- Seth Godin, author, Squidoo founder, top blogger, and probably several other superlatives.
is a link to what I wrote about him at last year's eBay Live for

- Jay Berkowitz.

I hadn't heard of him, but here's what it says about him on one blog:
"Jay Berkowitz of the Ten Golden Rules Will be a featured speaker at
eBay Live 2008!

Jay is scheduled currently to speak just following eBay CEO
John Donahoe and should be a big hit with his Ten Golden Rules of
Internet Marketing presentation. I know that many of the attendees of
the conference were very impressed with Jay�s speech
and style and they simply wanted more of the information Jay had to

Practical Matters

You'll be walking a lot at eBay Live, so wear comfortable shoes
if at all possible. At the last eBay Live, they had these guys driving
around the hotels in these golf cart-like things, giving people lifts
around the hotel, but I'm not sure they'll have that this year.

Food and drink in the convention center is likely ot be year I paid some $4 for a bottled water. That may have
been Vegas.

At the big events, like the Gala, eBay provides food and drink.

Check out the eBay Live discussion board on eBay for people's
tips, too, and don't forget to check the AuctionBytes site for

That's it for now. Questions? Send them to me!


"Selling on 'The River: Hedging Your Bets on Amazon

Selling on "The River"

Between eBay and amazon, you're looking at over 100 million
visitors per month. Why not harness the power of both? It just doesn't
make sense not to.

Former eBay University instructor Steve Lindhort's ebook will
open your eyes to all the other types of things you can sell on amazon
beside books, and how.

At $29.97, I think it's a good value. And you also get:

- "25 Things eBay Sellers Must Know about Selling on Amazon" and

- SPECIAL BONUS - "How to Scout for Top Sellers with Your Cell Phone."


Again, you can buy it at:

Selling on "The River"


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